Bushwise, South Africa

Welcome to Big Five Country

Become a qualified safari guide in the South African bushveld.

GVI’s sister company, Bushwise, is a safari guide school in the heart of South Africa’s Big Five game reserves. Bushwise is endorsed by the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) and provides the most comprehensive international field guide courses available. If you’re passionate about nature, you can become a safari guide (also called field guide). Prepare for a career in guiding, conservation or ecotourism with Bushwise.

Critical science

Critical science

You'll contribute to vital conservation research targeted at protecting the earth's most valuable ecosystems.
Ethical engagement

Ethical engagement

Using the UN's SDGs as a framework, we've made a commitment to positive, constructive and sustainable impact.
Beautiful adventures

Beautiful adventures

You'll spend your days exploring some of the world's most breathtaking, exhilarating and remote wildernesses.

Safari guide training with Bushwise

The Bushwise story

Have you ever considered a career in conservation or wildlife? A Bushwise course is a great way to start. Train with expert instructors in the South African bushveld, in Big Five reserves near Kruger National Park. Spend two months to a year learning everything from:

  • Animal behaviour and interactions
  • Safari guiding principles and ethics
  • Regional geology
  • History and culture
  • Advanced rifle handling
  • Dangerous game encounters
  • Track and sign identification

Join other students from around the world as you become a qualified safari guide and boost your resume with valuable skills. A Bushwise course is a great way to start your career or spend an exciting gap year.

Bushwise is an accredited member of CATHSSETA and an endorsed training provider for the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA). The Bushwise operations are focused on safari guide training, and offer participants a chance to earn multiple qualifications, including FGASA NQF2. Offering a first-hand experience of what life in the industry is like on a daily basis, you can look forward to encountering Africa’s incredible wildlife during your day-to-day duties and training.

The Bushwise campuses are situated in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, approximately five hours from Johannesburg and close to Kruger National Park. The protected and fenced camps are located nearby or within Big Five reserves. 

Bushwise currently has two campuses: one in the Greater Kruger National Park, where we train students in collaboration with the Southern African Wildlife College; and the second in the Greater Makalali Game Reserve, also a Big Five game park. Popular species you can see on course include:

  • Lion
  • Leopard
  • Elephant
  • Buffalo
  • Cheetah
  • Hyena
  • Rhino
  • Wild dogs
  • Crocodile
  • Hundreds of bird species

Both campuses offer world-class game viewing opportunities, training facilities, educational resources and exposure to wildlife. They are very safe and held within electric fences, to keep out dangerous game. We prioritise our participants’ safety and well-being. This is a life-changing experience and an incredible way to boost your resume for a career in conservation or wildlife!

Co-founder Sophie Niemann joined GVI in its infancy, where she set up and ran the GVI Karongwe Wildlife Expedition. Back then, GVI consisted only of Sophie and the founder of GVI, Richard Walton, who ran the office in the UK. As GVI grew Sophie went on to set up and run wildlife and community conservation programs across Africa. These included predator projects in Venetia, South Africa, community and marine conservation programs in Kenya, and SANParks internship programs, to name a few.

During her eight years as Regional Director for GVI, she found it a constant battle to find staff members with the qualifications, skills, and ethical professionalism GVI required. There was clearly a great need to assist young passionate conservationists and wildlife enthusiasts in getting these skills and qualifications to start their career. So, Richard and Sophie embarked on setting up Bushwise Field Guides. Their vision was to develop a high-quality, all-inclusive training course which offered a platform for students to gain the relevant qualifications, practical experience and soft skills.

Bushwise ran its first course back in 2006 at Mahlahla campus. Looking back to the early days, Bushwise’s ethos and vision has remained the same, but the program has evolved tremendously. Over the years we have focused our attention on our FGASA field guide and safari guide courses, which provide the best platform to gain the quantity and quality of knowledge and skills needed. We work closely with lodges to develop and tweak the program as the industry changes, ensuring our students gain experience that benefits their careers and adhere to the lodges’ standards. We have added numerous qualifications, fine-tuned the training, refined our soft skills development, and built an exceptional Bushwise team.

Bushwise continues to work proactively with key players in this ever-changing industry, to ensure our courses are the most relevant and of the highest standard. We also guarantee that our graduates are of the highest standard possible. Not only do we have lasting relationships with our alumni, we also constantly build upon and improve our courses to enhance the value we offer our students.

Adventure is calling. Chase that feeling!

Save up to 15% when you book and pay by 31 July